It was a easy go match for Pakistan, On other hand Sri Lanka, out of the match surely when they set out to defend 136 after lunch, yet won by 21 runs. All thanks to Rangana Herath who broke records, scuttling Pakistan again – 6 for 43 to his name. Herath is now first left-arm spinner to 400 Test wickets.
Day 5 at Abu Dhabi saw fall of 16 wickets which broke Pakistan’s hopes and dreams. It was Herath himself who had set Pakistan’s slide in motion, fooling Sami Aslam in the fourth over of the chase, getting the batsman to play for the turning ball, but sliding it into his outside edge – eventually gobbled up at slip. After Suranga Lakmal dismissed a leaden-footed Azhar Ali and Perera took two wickets himself, Herath produced perhaps the two biggest wickets of the innings. Asad Shafiq shaped to cut a Herath delivery bowled shorter, and a little quicker, but managed only to send it to slip. Sarfraz Ahmed seemed to be winning a little momentum for Pakistan as he and Haris Sohail put on a partnership of 42 runs, but could not get bat on ball when he ran at Herath, and the ball dribbled off his pads to Niroshan Dickwella, who completed the stumping with Sarfraz barely in the frame.
Following the lavish home thrashings suffered at India’s hands, Sri Lanka were desperate for a victory to win their public back.